Career hacks Career strategy

Technology has a First Mile and a Last Mile; where would you like to play?

How does technology make its way to the market, and what’s your role in that market? I like to view this as the first mile and the second mile.

The first mile is all about the creation of the product and the creation of the technology. It’s about making sure you are prioritizing the right features for the right market for the right customers, and then you’re putting engineering behind that to make that product come alive. And there might be a lot of scars on the backs because of that. Maybe it’s product strategy or product engineering or all of those things. And there might be some scars on the backs or as I like to call it ‘learning,’ right?

And the second mile is all about deploying that product, deploying that technology in the best interest of the customer to create the best outcome possible. And that involves a lot of knowledge about the customer or a set of customers or particular geographies or particular regions or specific types of processes and domains. But that’s the part where you’re able to create that value for the customer and create outcomes for the customer.

Now those two things have to happen. You need to have the first mile, you need the last mile, right? Now, the question is, do you know where your strengths are? Are you a first-mile person, or are you the last-mile person? And are you playing in the right field? The question is, are YOU playing in the right field?